File spoon-archives/postanarchism.archive/postanarchism_2003/postanarchism.0307, message 86


Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 13:20:04 -0400
Subject: Re: [postanarchism] (en) The Politics of Postanarchism


Newman's newest statement is interesting, and, i think, very clear about
the "post-poststructuralist" move i was pointing toward in the initial
"leaving the party" posts.

Newman:

"These theoretical problems centered around the question of power, place
and the outside: it was found that while classical anarchism was able to
theorize, in the essential revolutionary subject, an identity or place of
resistance outside the order of power, this subject was found, in the
subsequent analyses, to be embroiled in the very power relations it
contested; whereas poststructuralism, while it exposed precisely this
complicity between the subject and power, was left without a theoretical
point of departure—an outside—from which to criticize power. Thus, the
theoretical quandary that I attempted to address in From Bakunin to Lacan,
was that, while we have to assume that there is no essentialist outside to
power—no firm ontological or epistemological ground for resistance, beyond
the order of power—radical politics nevertheless needs some theoretical
dimension outside power, and some notion of radical agency that was not
wholly determined by power. I explored the emergence of this aporia,
discovering two central ‘epistemological breaks’ in radical political
thought. The first was found in Stirner’s critique of Enlightenment
humanism, which formed the theoretical basis for the poststructuralist
intervention, within the anarchist tradition itself. The second was found
in Lacanian theory, whose implications went beyond the conceptual limits of
poststructuralism[17]—pointing to the deficiencies in the structures of
power and language, and the possibility of a radically indeterminate notion
of agency emerging from this lack."

The primary theoretical question remains for me - beyond the historical
analyses - whether or not it is true that "radical politics nevertheless
needs some theoretical dimension outside power."

Do folks really think we need a place "outside power"? Or is it possible
that this "need" represents a return to the understanding of power as
merely oppressive? If the "outside" is not "ontological or
epistemological," then what is its nature? Is not the "overdetermination,"
cited positively in Newman's essay, based in the realization that the
"wholly determined" need not be *finally* determined and simply opposed to
"freedom"?

-shawn



   

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